What is

What are

Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)


A Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), often known as a performance action plan, is a formal document used by managers to outline an employee’s performance issues and the steps needed for improvement. It typically includes clear performance expectations, measurable goals, a timeline for achieving these goals, and details on support or resources provided by the organization.

When should a PIP be used?

A Performance Improvement Plan should be used when an employee consistently fails to meet performance standards or expectations. It is appropriate when the employee's behavior, work quality, or productivity negatively impacts the team or organization and informal feedback has not resulted in improvement. PIPs should be used thoughtfully and not as an initial reaction to minor performance issues.

What should be included in a PIP?

A Performance Improvement Plan should include the following elements:

  • A clear statement of the performance issues and how they do not meet the expected standards.
  • Specific, measurable goals that the employee needs to achieve.
  • A detailed action plan outlining the steps the employee should take.
  • The support and resources the organization will provide to help the employee.
  • A timeline for achieving the goals and regular check-ins.
  • The metrics for evaluating improvement.
  • Consequences of failing to improve performance by the end of the PIP period.

How can managers effectively communicate a PIP to an employee?

Managers should communicate a Performance Improvement Plan to an employee in a private, calm, and respectful manner. It’s important to be clear and specific about the performance issues and explain how they affect the team or organization. Managers should focus on the future and emphasize that the PIP is a tool for the employee’s development. It is crucial to explain the support and resources available and encourage the employee to ask questions and provide input. The conversation should be a two-way dialogue, and it’s important to document the discussion.

Can an employee recover from a PIP?

Yes, an employee can recover from a Performance Improvement Plan. The purpose of a PIP is to help the employee address performance issues and improve. It’s important that the employee takes the PIP seriously, actively engages in the process, seeks feedback, and utilizes the resources and support provided. Success in a PIP often depends on the employee’s willingness to change, the support from management, and the organization’s commitment to employee development.

What happens if an employee does not meet the objectives of a PIP?

If an employee does not meet the objectives of a Performance Improvement Plan, various outcomes are possible depending on the organization’s policies and the nature of the performance issues. Common consequences include additional training, reassignment to a different role, or termination of employment. It is essential that the outcomes for not meeting the objectives are clearly communicated at the beginning of the PIP, and that the process is handled fairly and transparently.